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FREEFLY Systems Freefly ALTA, RTF collapsible hexacopter

Discussion in 'General Drone Manufacturer Discussion' started by Bartman, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. Motopreserve

    Motopreserve Drone Enthusiast

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    Posted by Motopreserve, Jul 15, 2015 #101
    It seems to me that there will always be a certain market for the DIY builders and manufacturers, and like the RTF market, it will span from hobby to professional.

    With the high quality that is being produced for DIY frames alone - there will likely be pros that prefer to tailor their craft to fit their needs specifically, and bypass what they will not use. Perhaps not a majority, but hopefully enough to keep the fine folks around here humming along and putting out great innovative products.
     
  2. Dylan M

    Dylan M Which Switch...

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    Posted by Dylan M, Jul 15, 2015 #102
    I can see it changing the amount of custom frames you see, but there will always be applications that don't fit inside their RTF parameters... Hopefully there will always be people building custom frames like Mr Hexacrafter.

    It will be interesting to see if the inverted gimbal catches any traction. I only had 2 people ask about that ability in the last 3 years... I always told them nothing is impossible...

    It would be nice to see the synapse as a standalone FC but I doubt we will unless the Alta sells very well... then they will want to jump into DJIs market share the way DJI Ronin tried to make a move on the Movi....(pun intended)
     
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  3. Posted by Mojave, Jul 15, 2015 #103
    I still build my own computers from quality components using an online vendor. I look forward to the day when there is a similar vendor out there for aerial robotics that has quality products that have been tested and reviewed with competitive prices under one roof.

    I agree that there are companies that are doing a good job, and systems that work well - I know that there are folks that like to tinker. The DIY market is still out there for PCs, and the DIY market for UAVs is still evolving. The ALTA system looks very attractive; I think the view from 6 months in the future will be the test here. I look forward to the reviews.
     
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  4. stevemaller

    stevemaller Heavy Lifter

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    Posted by stevemaller, Jul 15, 2015 #104
    The RTF machines will be supportable by manufacturers because they can better control what goes into them. For example, the ALTA’s arms are one piece with a proprietary motor and proprietary ESC built in. When I met with them at NAB several months ago, they implied that field replacements of failed motors/ESCs might be accomplished by simply replacing an arm. That remains to be seen. But you all know that if you're somebody like KDE and are selling a component like an ESC and somebody has one melt down, it puts the vendor in a difficult situation. Was it installed incorrectly? Was it driving the wrong kind of motor? Was there a soldering error? In a true RTF system like the ALTA, the manufacturer/vendor can have a higher degree of control over the usage and the reliability of their system. That's why I'm moving to the ALTA after spending a few years building my own. I still enjoy building and flying my frankenstein'd machines...I just won't take them out on paying gigs or fly expensive camera packages on them.
     
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  5. crayfellow

    crayfellow Member

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    Posted by crayfellow, Jul 15, 2015 #105
    that makes sense @stevemaller@stevemaller , and I think that hobbyist element will always exist - I mean look at planes. Were folks sitting around in the 1960's saying "boy, one day nobody will be building their own!" Maybe they were.

    The DIY hobbyist aspect will obviously continue and probably even grow. I think what will also grow will be a custom-build pro contingent which is not exactly an "RTF package" yet purpose built for a specific application. Sort of like media workstations, supercomputers, and general custom electronics designs still exist to use the PC analogy.

    As for me, I'm typing on an "RTF" Apple laptop but developing custom hardware/software systems for a living.
     
  6. maxwelltub

    maxwelltub Member

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    Posted by maxwelltub, Jul 16, 2015 #106
    I don't know why I am so opposed to rtf, probably because of my brief experience with the s800, but when the bigger alta comes out I'll probably switch. Currently we specialize in lifting huge cameras with cine glass and lens control , because the all the smaller RTF models make it hard to compete with the hundreds of companies who can simply buy in and out spend me on marketing, personal and volume of kit. But the super heavy lift market is only safe for diy design for a little longer. Anyway, I think free fly is a fantastic company and very forward thinking. There attention to the small details is awesome
     
  7. Dylan M

    Dylan M Which Switch...

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    Posted by Dylan M, Jul 16, 2015 #107
    It is sad because, for me at least, a lot of the joy comes from actually building the rig.
     
  8. Motopreserve

    Motopreserve Drone Enthusiast

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    Posted by Motopreserve, Jul 16, 2015 #108
    I don't think there is any reason to be sad. People and companies are going to continue to make products for the DIY crowd. If for no other reason than many can't afford the $8k that it requires to get into a rig like this.
     
  9. Posted by Mojave, Jul 16, 2015 #109
    I agree. I do look forward to components that are better tested and work well together.
     
  10. SleepyC

    SleepyC www.AirHeadMedia.com

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    Posted by SleepyC, Jul 16, 2015 #110
    This is the thing that is getting to me. I have spend HOURS and HOURS building rigs using proven companies that equipment plays nicely with each other, but that's the thing.. it just "works well" together. It was not designed and tested as a package.

    I kind of saw the light when I finally (after YEARS of avoiding one) bought a Phantom 3 Pro.
    The props/Motor/ESC/Flight Control/gimbal are all made for each other, tested together and optimized to work together and the performance is unlike anything I have ever experienced. I have some GREAT flying rigs, with A2, SuperX, WKM, but nothing flys like it's on a roller coaster track like this damn P3. I can fly it straight out over lakes and keep going. You can take a 2 minute epic flight and speed it up to 25 seconds and the footage looks like glass.

    I think that is the advantage of a quality RTF machine. And If I ever find myself with some extra money (hahahaha) i would jump at getting an Alta. Considering I use the M5, having a rig that was built and tested to work together really appeals to me.
     
    3 people like this.
  11. Motopreserve

    Motopreserve Drone Enthusiast

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    Posted by Motopreserve, Jul 16, 2015 #111
    I can appreciate the RTF in the testing that it hopefully gets with component compatibility (think its safe to say this "testing" is not done to the same standards though).

    The variables are still going to exist though, as long as people have different needs and preferences. My 'perfect quality video' may not cut it for you - and my budget for a 'premium MR' may pale by comparison to your budget.

    So for the time being, until multiple manufacturers (I truly believe competition is what's going to kick the RTF quality into high gear) begin making MRs for all the different levels in price, quality and size - I think we have every incentive to encourage smaller companies to keep putting out the high quality components for the DIY builds.
     
  12. stevemaller

    stevemaller Heavy Lifter

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    Posted by stevemaller, Jul 16, 2015 #112

    Attached Files:

  13. maxwelltub

    maxwelltub Member

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    Posted by maxwelltub, Jul 16, 2015 #113
    No way it will be under 55lbs, if you care about that stuff
     
  14. SamaraMedia

    SamaraMedia Active Member

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    Posted by SamaraMedia, Jul 16, 2015 #114
    There are days I have buyers remorse. I can't really afford the things I would like so I try to do the best with what I can and take as much advice as possible in making good decisions on parts to buy. My latest build is a Tarot X6 which for all intents and purposes is a S900 clone for half the price but once you look into the thought process DJI puts into the S900 with A2 and Zenmuse for GH4 vs the X6 with whatever choice FC you want and gimbal choices you begin to realize there is something to the RTF product even if you can build your own. As I try to tune the motors, esc's, props, gimbal, weight, etc...a friend of mine unpacks his S900 and just flies. I may have saved some cash but I'm paying for it in tune time which could be even more costly than the initial outlay for the DJI. Unfortunately for me I enjoy the challenge of making almost anything fly from scratch so tomorrow it will be back to the field with a couple batteries and some new 15" Maytech CF props to replace the triple props that are on there now and see if we can't get things a little tighter before leaving for a week of vacation.

    I agree with @SleepyC@SleepyC in regard to his P3, wish I could pack up my P2 with GoPro but it just is not a one trunk carry on. I took it up to the Cape with me on an assignment for the paper I work for but found it cumbersome to drag a bag for the tripod and FPV monitor along with a small luggage bag I keep it in along some of the hiking trails, kept me wanting a P3 or Inspire1 for easy of transport and viewing of flight not to mention camera control...

    Not sure what I'll do with myself for a week without my rigs but I sure as hell am going to try and find some peace and quiet since I'll have plenty to keep me busy when I get home.

    Is that 8k for the Alta minus the MOVI?
     
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  15. stevemaller

    stevemaller Heavy Lifter

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    Posted by stevemaller, Jul 16, 2015 #115
    The ALTA is $8495
    Quoting from https://freeflysystems.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/204720659-What-comes-with-the-ALTA-package-

    It comes with:
    • Pelican case
    • Battery Cage
    • Landing Gear for Top Mounting
    • Freefly ALTA App available for download
    The ALTA comes fully assembled and includes all the necessary tools and accessories you will need to mount a MōVI and get it flying. The standard ALTA ships with a Toad in the Hole quick release, Battery Cage Landing Gear, FPV mount plate, cables to connect your personal receivers and/or FPV system, and mechanical tools to disassemble & inspect your ALTA. The standard ALTA configuration does not include batteries, transmitter, receivers, or FPV system.
     
  16. maxwelltub

    maxwelltub Member

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    Posted by maxwelltub, Jul 18, 2015 #116
    I think this is reasonable for what your getting. There also things you can't easily quantify in dollar value such as local(ish) support and a company who handles issues rather then ignoring them.
     
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  17. SleepyC

    SleepyC www.AirHeadMedia.com

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    Posted by SleepyC, Jul 19, 2015 #117
    This is a huge factor. Freefly Systems know that many professionals use their gear, and when something goes down, the production must go on. I have had friends who were overnighted parts or even an entire unit to finish the work. That's HUGE when you paycheck counts on it!
     
  18. stevemaller

    stevemaller Heavy Lifter

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    Posted by stevemaller, Jul 19, 2015 #118
    You hit the nail on the head!
     
  19. stevemaller

    stevemaller Heavy Lifter

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    Posted by stevemaller, Jul 25, 2015 #119
    I was fortunate to be invited to collect ALTA #1 from Freefly up in Seattle today. Amazing machine and a real honor to get to meet many of the team behind it.

    View attachment 25670
     

    Attached Files:

  20. SamaraMedia

    SamaraMedia Active Member

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    Posted by SamaraMedia, Jul 25, 2015 #120
    Very cool Steve, is it going home with you?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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